Underground sit-in by NUM members at Chinese-owned mine enters third day

Picture: iStock

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday it was outraged that China Precious Metal Company (CAPM) had allegedly refused to listen to workers’ demands.

Some 69 NUM members staged an underground sit-in at No 7 shaft mine in Orkney, North West province, at the weekend after they turned down the latest offer from the company. The union started wage negotiations with the CAPM in September 2018.

NUM president Joseph Montisetse said the management of the South African unit of the company had offered eight percent to workers, which was allegedly overturned by the Chinese-based management, who decided to offer a zero percent increase.

Montisetse said the company’s attitude had angered the 69 workers, 55 males and 14 females, which led to the underground sit-in that entered its third day on Monday.

“After the intervention of the NUM, the management conceded on eight percent with conditions that they can only link that to job grading if there is production, and there will be no living out allowances,” Montisetse said.

“It is this kind of arrogance by CAPM management that provoked the workers to resort to sit in underground. We view this behavior by CAPM as a sign of not caring about mine workers. Capitalists don’t value anything expect maximisation of creation of wealth.”

Montisetse called on government, through the department of mineral resources (DMR), to urgently convene a high delegation meeting between the NUM, CAPM and the DMR to resolve the matter and ensure that all the workers who are underground come to the surface.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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